FBI agents warn against ransomware cyber-attacks

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The FBI is warning people against cyber-attacks.  

Ransomware cyber-attacks are when organized groups hack file on a person’s computer. After the files are taken, the groups then demand a ransom for the return of them.  

FBI agents said they’ve been seeing a lot of cyber-attacks in the area that have the power to cripple a business.  

“If a business is unable to recover from an event like that they could completely go under, and you’d be talking the loss of a large number of jobs,” FBI Special Agent Steve Lampo said. “If that business is part of critical infrastructure that could impact customers across a wide area. So, it could be very impactful.” 

When a person falls victim to a cyber-attack, they should contact the FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Agents use ransom notes, email addresses, and crypto currency addresses to track down the organizations. Agents added that these are long-term investigations, and the victims may never have the money returned to them.  

“A lot of, particularly businesses, are reluctant to report this kind of incident to law enforcement,” Lampo said. “We’re seeing it all the time and we are responding to them whenever we get a complaint and investigating and trying to make sure that these groups are held responsible.” 

Agents said to prevent cyber-attacks people should not click on links from untrusted sources.  

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